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Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office May Have Violated California’s Sanctuary State Law—a Father is Facing Deportation as a Result

According to reporting from Fox 40, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office is facing a complaint over allegations that one of its deputies violated California’s sanctuary state laws. Under Senate Bill 54, police officers and law enforcement agencies in California are legally required to limit cooperation with federal immigration officials. Immigrant rights activists believe that the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, which recently handed an undocumented father directly to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), violated this law. 

An Undocumented Immigrant Was Transferred Directly to ICE After a Misdemeanor Arrest

In June 2019, a man named Enrique Nambo was arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving in Northern California. The father of a five-year-old daughter, he was detained in a local jail by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. According to information provided by his immigration lawyer, he was held for four days and then transferred from the custody of Sacramento County law enforcement directly into the hands of ICE. 

When state and local law enforcement agencies work directly with federal immigration officials, there are very serious consequences for immigrants. In this case, Mr. Nambo has been confined in the Mesa Verde ICE Processing Center for more than three months and he is now facing deportation from the United States

All of this is happening despite the fact that he has never been arrested for or convicted of a felony offense or a violent crime. Notably, Mr. Nambo, like many undocumented people in California, has long standing ties to the community—he has lived in Sacramento County for more than fifteen years. 

California Values Act: Restrictions on Who Can Be Handed to ICE

In 2017, state legislators passed the California Values Act into law. A direct response to the Trump Administration’s harsh treatment of immigrants, the bill put significant restrictions on the cooperation between state and local law enforcement agencies and federal immigration enforcement agencies. 

Among other things, California law is supposed to protect undocumented immigrants who have only been accused of minor criminal infractions. Our state and local police officers are not immigration enforcement officers. They are not supposed to assist ICE, except in very limited circumstances. Under the California Values Act, a misdemeanor DUI offense should not result in an immigrant being transferred into the custody of ICE. 

Fox 40 reports that Mr. Nambo is currently being represented by the Sacramento Immigration Coalition. He is fighting the deportation case and he is reportedly planning to file a legal complaint against Sacramento County for the violation of his rights under state law. 

Consult With Our Los Angeles Immigration Attorney Now

At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, we are proud of our long, well-documented record of successfully advocating for immigrants and immigrant rights. To get a confidential immigration consultation, call our Los Angeles law office today at (213) 262-2000. We serve clients throughout Southern California, including in Glendale, Pasadena, Cerritos, Santa Monica, Torrance, and Monterey Park.